In 1912 when J. C. Bernhardt passed away, his second wife Martha Jane, and his youngest son, my grandfather, Ira Leo were living at the homeplace. JC left no will, so the court distributed his property. An inventory of the house and property were made including many interesting items of the time such as a sythe, spinning wheel, wash pot and surveying tools. When all accounting was finished, most of the property went to the widow. This was due to the value placed on items in the inventory and the state ordered widow's portion.
The other brothers and sisters felt that the valuation of the inventory was way too low (and by looking at the inventory, which I have included, I would tend to agree.) The older brothers and sisters thinking that they were due more than the settlement said; went to the house and took what they thought was their fair share.
A law suit was filed by the children of JC and Laura Davis against the estate, stating the settlement was unfair because the property was undervalued. The case was heard and the ruling was that the inventory was a fair valuation of the property. The judge ordered the children of Laura Davis to return all property removed from the homeplace including the fruit taken from the pantry!
Perhaps this will appease our ancestors and might become an annual tradition for the family!